• Cindy

Trail Running Is A Dangerous Sport

I view this blog site as more than just a cast fetish site. It provides an opportunity for all member of the cast community to expand their knowledge horizons and to learn new and exciting things.


Over the course of the last year, my blog posts have focused on several esoteric topics of interest.


In January of this year, we explored the Yin and Yang Chinese Philosophy concept using American Soldier Elisabeth as our featured broken ankle victim.




You may recall in July I posted a blog of a Cathedral Bell ringer who broke her leg and spent time in both traction and a full leg cast. I didn't think bell ringing was an art until I delved into her story


And, last month, we discussed the Mormon faith in some detail and used three Mormon women who had the misfortune to break a leg as our guide.



Today, I would like to continue to expand our knowledge by discussing the sport of trail running. I had never heard of the sport until I ran across a picture of Michelle sporting a cast on her leg.



Michelle one week after the accident sporting her pink leg cast

To provide some background, trail running is a sport-activity which combines running, and, where there are steep gradients, hiking, that is run on any unpaved surface. Participants are warriors. Train Running events sometimes last days and make marathon running look like pre-race warm up.


Several years ago, Michelle was doing a training run with three training friends. They were running a 4 mile trail that had 2,000 feet of elevation change. Their plan was to complete the loop six times that day.


Michelle shown with her three training friends a week before she injured her ankle. Rick, on the right, was an EMT

Fortunately for Michelle, the group chose a loop course that day. Some trail running trails go 100 miles from starting point to a distant end point. Because of the loop course, the group's supplies including medical kit were located nearby.


During her second run of the loop, Michelle stepped on a tree root and rolled her ankle awkwardly. She fell to the ground in extreme pain. 'I heard a sound that reminded me of dry leaves being stepped on. I looked at the ground around the tree root and saw no leaves. I realized the sound I heard was my ankle breaking.'


Michelle's friends splinted her ankle with tree limbs and twine and got her to the nearest urgent care center. There, they x-rayed the ankle, confirmed the break, and placed her in a back slab.



Michelle with her daughter the evening of her injury. In spite of the smile on her face, Michelle said the pain was beyond belief the first night

Three painful days later, Michelle saw an orthopedic surgeon. He recommended surgery although offered conventional treatment as an alternative. Fearing that hardware would end her trail running career, Michelle chose to have the ankle set manually. Since her daughter had a piano recital that evening, Michelle declined pain medications.



Michelle in the waiting room waiting to see her orthopedic surgeon

Michelle's foot and ankle after the back slab was removed

Michelle's daughter was kept occupied by nurses in the waiting room while the orthopedic surgeon set her ankle. She was given a towel to bite on so her screams couldn't be heard in the waiting room. She was placed in a hospital gown in case she lost control of her bladder during the setting process. Two doctors and a nurse held Michelle down while the orthopedic surgeon pulled and twisted on her ankle until he thought she might have a reasonable chance of recovery. X-rays confirmed good alignment of the fracture and Michelle was placed in a below the knee cast.



Michelle's toes, cast, and pillow match in color

"It took me 30 minutes after that setting session to remotely act as a human being again. I was shaking like a leaf and the pain during he was moving my foot around and after was ridiculous. I was drenched in sweat and unable to speak. Fortunately, I made it my daughter's piano recital that night."



Michelle's daughter put pink casts on all of her Barbie dolls so her mom would have some company while she was in the cast

To say that Michelle recovered fully would be an understatement. Today, she routinely competes in 100 mile trail runs and is a spokeswoman for the sport.



Michelle lives in Colorado and routinely deals with elevation changes of 4,000 feet in her runs

Because of the changes in terrain during a trail run, runners must change footwear on occasion during runs. On a typical trail run, hiking boots and running shoes will be required. Michelle has taken it one step further and has become a sponsor for a sandal company.



I wound't think running in sandals is best practice, but Michelle thinks it's a great idea.

I final note. Trail runners are incredible athletes and and in marvelous shape. For his 80th birthday, Michelle's dad competed in and finished an 80 miles trail run.




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